Grow Peace in Afghanistan: Educate 3000 Women

by Aid Afghanistan for Education
Vetted

On November 17, 2016, AAE celebrated its 13th commencement ceremony in Kabul. 111 students graduated this year -- and every single one of them is off to college.

The ceremony took place at the Kabul University auditorium. Government officials, students' family members, teachers, and AAE supporters came together to honor the class of 2016. After Hassina Sherjan, founder of AAE, welcomed everyone, guests listened to speeches from the Minister of Education, a representative from the office of the First Lady of Afghanistan, and a video message from First Lady Rula Ghani herself. Thanks to an agreement between AAE and the Ministry of Education, all graduates received an official, state-certified diploma.

A few words from some special graduates, Firooza and Frozan:

Firooza is 28 years old and has 5 children. She turned to AAE when no other school would accept her because of her age. “I can already feel the difference in the way I talk and discuss with others, compared to when I was illiterate. My life has changed a lot.” She is headed to midwifery school soon to help other women in Afghanistan.

Frozan is 26 years old and has 3 children. Other schools don’t accept married students, so she enrolled with AAE. “Initially, it was very difficult for me to come to school because I had no one to look after my kids. Sometimes I was sitting alone and crying, but those days passed. Thank God I am a graduate. Now, I feel very happy and confident, and can help my children.” She is following her dream of becoming a dentist and is going to dental school.

Frozan has a message for you: “Thank you very much to all those who support AAE. I love you and am really grateful. AAE paved the way for me to change my life.”

You've made our graduates' dreams come true. 100% of our graduates this year are planning to continue their studies and go to college, and it’s all thanks to supporters like you. Thank you for being partners for peace, and happy holidays from everyone at AAE.

Frozan at graduation
Frozan at graduation

Links:

Salma working out an algebra problem
Salma working out an algebra problem

In light of the recent Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, we decided to feature some of our student athletes! These AAE students are not only dedicated to overcoming obstacles to finish their education, but they're passionate about staying healthy and competing in sports. 

Sports have a tumultuous history in Afghanistan. During years of war, enjoying sports for fun and competition was nearly impossible for many reasons. Even today, female athletes continue to meet resistance. In many parts of Afghanistan, conservative expectations of women dictate they stay inside to cook and clean. Sports and education don't necessarily fit that narrative.  

Yet AAE students never back down from a challenge. Take Kabul students Trina and Salma. Trina, 15, is a 7th grade soccer player who plays recreationally and competitively, practicing almost six hours a week with her teammates. On the other hand, Salma, 16, has fallen in love with taekwondo and has been training for two years. Around her 9th grade course load, she is able to work out three days a week. Like Trina, competing and staying healthy are important to Salma. 

One day, we may see AAE students competing in the Olympics representing their country and people. Until then, we're focusing on giving them the best education possible, which we can't do without your support. For $30 a month, you can sponsor an AAE student like Trina and Salma to make sure she finishes her education and goes on to change the world. 

Trina
Trina
Anita Azizi in her office
Anita Azizi in her office

One of our goals is to empower marginalized Afghan women through education. Educated women give back to their communities in amazing ways-- by boosting the economy, sending their children to school, and improving access to healthcare for their families. In fact, one AAE graduate is doing just that. 

Anita Azizi came to AAE schools out of desperation when she was behind in her studies due to her age. After graduating with a state-certified high school diploma, "I studied what I loved at university," Anita says, sitting in her midwifery office and smiling proudly at her ability to serve her community. She has been a midwife for two years outside of Kabul and love providing women and children with better access to healthcare. 

"I love serving our people, because our country is backwards and women like me are making it better so Afghanistan can stand on its own feet," Anita says. She knows how powerful her impact is, thanks in part to her schooling at Aid Afghanistan for Education. And of course, our programs and Anita's education wouldn't be possible without your support.

We have over 3,000 students in school today with dreams like Anita of becoming doctors, teachers, politicians, mothers, and journalists. Thousands of graduates are scattered throughout Afghanistan already, working daily to make a better world for themselves and their children. All of this is thanks to your dedicated support, for which we are eternally grateful. However, the work isn't quite over yet. By sponsoring a student for $30 a month on GlobalGiving, you can ensure Afghanistan becomes a little more peaceful every day.

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Remember Anisa, the AAE graduate studying law after putting 9 children through medical and law school? She's made her way onto Al Jazeera! 

Click here to watch Al Jazeera's interview with Anisa.

When she was growing up, Anisa dreamed of going to school but her father wouldn't allow it. When she married at 16, her father-in-law and husband opposed her education as well. But after every single one of her 9 children graduated high school, then university, then medical or law school, Anisa decided it was her turn.

Even though most of her fellow students could be her children, "Anisa has changed the minds and beliefs of most of her classmates," says her professor. "Her presence in the class and pursuing her education has convinced her classmates that a woman, no matter her age, can study and be self-confident and self-reliant and can achieve her goals through education."

Many people in Afghanistan are still against women's education, but Anisa refuses to listen to them. "I don't care what anyone says about me. They say that by studying at this age, what will I end up with? My response is that I will continue my education and pursue my master's and PhD. I will continue studying for my entire life so I can serve my society and my country if I get the chance. I want to be a defense attorney and fight for the rights of women whose rights have been disregarded."

Anisa hasn't let anything stand in her way. And we won't either- that's why we work every day to make sure everyone in Afghanistan has equal access to education. 

Links:

Students line up to graduate
Students line up to graduate

More than 100 Afghan women in Kabul graduated with a state-approved high school degree on November 21st! Afghans from all walks of life attended the ceremony-- from high-ranking government officials and diplomats to families and friends of the graduates, everyone was excited to see Afghan women succeeding. Even the media made an appearance! TOLO, an Afghan news station, reported on the graduation and interviewed AAE's founder, Hassina Sherjan. 

The beautiful thing about an AAE degree is that our students are abound with options after they graduate. Some may choose to stay at home to raise their children, but others may choose to work in their communities, teach at an AAE school, or go on to university. The key word is options: with an education, Afghan women have so many more choices than they did before, and they will improve their families and communities no matter what they choose. 

None of this would have been possible without you, our treasured partners for peace. The AAE team cannot express how truly grateful we are for your continuned support. If you feel so inclined, we'd like to extend an invitation. 3,000 AAE students across Afghanistan need a sponsor to ensure they can graduate just like their sisters in Kabul. For just $30 a month, you can be that sponsor and know your contribution is making Afghanistan more peaceful by the day. 

Hassina Sherjan giving diplomas
Hassina Sherjan giving diplomas
Zohra Yusef, from first lady
Zohra Yusef, from first lady's office, speaking
The graduates celebrating!
The graduates celebrating!

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Aid Afghanistan for Education

Location: Kabul - Afghanistan
Website: http:/​/​www.aidafghanistanforeducation.org
Project Leader:
Hassina Sherjan
Kabul, Afghanistan
2016 Year End Campaign
Time left to give
$114,855 raised of $700,000 goal
 
595 donations
$585,145 to go
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